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    December 7, 2016
Past Issues  

A legal legend: Honoring Orville Bloethe

Editor's Note: It is with great sadness that we announce ISBA member Orville Bloethe, 97, has died. For his dedication to the practice of law, the ISBA honored Orville years ago by naming our annual tax event after him, the Bloethe Tax School. The ISBA extends our condolences to Orville's family and friends.

Orville Bloethe was an Iowa attorney for nearly seven decades. And while that is a legacy in itself, Bloethe’s impact on the profession reaches far beyond his own career.

Bloethe grew up as a farm boy in Victor, Iowa, then went on to pursue an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa. He served in World War II, then attended the University of Iowa College of Law, graduating Order of the Coif in 1947.

According to UI alumni records, Bloethe was famous during law school for his “Bloethe books,” which were summaries of legal concepts and case theories that he put together and shared with classmates. That desire to pass on knowledge to help others carried on throughout his professional life, most notably with his contributions to The Iowa State Bar Association’s tax section. Bloethe helped write the ISBA’s widely used Income Tax and Fiduciary Manuals. He was the main presenter at the ISBA’s annual Tax School CLE, which eventually was named after him. He assisted in the development of special-use variation for farmers and lectured around the state and the country about estate planning. In 1984, Bloethe was awarded the ISBA's highest senior bar award, the Award of Merit, in recognition of his many contributions to the legal community.

Bloethe’s desire to give back extended beyond the profession of law. He served as his hometown’s city attorney for 56 years and secretary of the school board for 40 years. He contributed greatly as a University of Iowa alum and invested in student scholarships. He and his wife donated $100,000 to help build a new medical clinic in their hometown of Victor.  They also gave a significant contribution to help with the construction of the CLE Center at the ISBA Headquarters.

He officially retired from law in 2014, but the Bloethe Tax School tradition has continued. The annual event is being held in Des Moines this week and, with news of his passing, will include several special tributes.

Funeral services will be held this Friday, Dec. 9, at 11 a.m. at the Victor United Methodist Church. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, also at the church.

Take advantage of end-of-year ISBA CLE opportunities

Attorneys in need of CLE hours before the end of the year can still find several options through ISBA CLE programming including live events and ISBA on-demand videos.

Currently in the ISBA On-Demand Catalog, six on-demand videos are available as well as the Juvenile Law Training Video Series which consists of three videos focused on juvenile law matters. Additional presentations cover a variety of topics such as family law, real estate, probate, mediation and civil case law.

Prior to the end of the year, seven live events are still available as well, with five providing a live webinar option. Upcoming live CLE opportunities include:

  • Legal Ethics for Tax Return Preparers
  • Federal Practice Seminar
  • Effectively Entering Effective Pleas
  • A Primer for Medicaid Eligibility
  • Bridge Order Update and Your Questions Answered
  • Review of 2016 Attorney Disciplinary Cases
  • The Ouderkirk Case: The Ethics of Advising Clients on Asset Protection Measures

Full event details can be found on the ISBA CLE calendar.

Members can participate in an unlimited number of CLE events from Dec. 15, 2016 until Dec. 31, 2017 at a discount rate with the ISBA CLE Season Pass. With the annual pass, ISBA members receive free admission during the term of the pass to all ISBA live seminars, live webinars, telephone presentations, as well as unlimited access to the ISBA On-Demand Catalog. The cost for the season pass is $600. This special offer will end on Dec. 14, 2016.

The deadline to have CLE requirements completed is Dec. 31, 2016. Up to six of the 15 hours required each calendar year by Iowa Supreme Court Rule 41.3(1) may be obtained through completion of computer-based unmoderated legal education. Visit the Commission on Continuing Legal Education web page for additional information.

Legislative update: Committee assignments for 2017 session

Leaders in the Iowa House and Senate announced committee assignments for the 2017 legislative session, which begins Jan. 9. Several lawyer-legislators will hold important positions in the 87th General Assembly.

The House Judiciary Committee will be chaired by Rep. Chip Baltimore, an ISBA member, and the Vice Chair is Rep. Elect Jim Carlin, also a lawyer-legislator. The Senate Judiciary Committee will be chaired by Sen. Brad Zaun.

For a complete list of committee leadership, please go to the ISBA news page.


IRS promoting education during 'Tax Security Awareness Week'

The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners are marking “National Tax Security Awareness Week” this week by sharing a variety of information to educate tax preparers and taxpayers on steps they should take to protect themselves from identity theft and tax scams.

The week, which runs Dec. 5-9, will feature a series of consumer warnings and tips that will be released daily and featured on the Taxes. Security. Together. web page. They have also provided a full list of topics important to taxpayers and preparers.

The IRS and its partners need the help of all taxpayers to protect important tax and financial data. They also need the help of tax professionals and businesses to share information and educate clients and employees about security measures.

IOLTA grant applications now available

The application period is now open for grants under the Interest on Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) program for the grant period that begins July 1, 2017. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.

Public purpose projects that provide legal services to low-income persons in civil cases, law-related education and other programs that improve the administration of justice in Iowa may apply for the grants. The grants are administered by the Iowa Supreme Court Lawyer Trust Account Commission using the interest on money from lawyers’ pooled trust accounts.

For details on obtaining a copy of the application forms and the rules, click here. Since the beginning of the program in 1986, the commission has awarded more than $24 million in grants.

Title Guaranty lists requirements for mortgage modification endorsements

In its Dec. 6 newsletter, Iowa Title Guaranty listed the conditions required in order for it to issue a Mortgage Modification Endorsement. The endorsement, which is available at a cost of $15, is designed to assure a lender that the guaranteed mortgage retains its priority as modified. The endorsement is not available when the legal description contained in the guaranteed mortgage is modified or supplemented.

To issue an endorsement, Iowa Title Guaranty requires:

  • The recording of the loan modification agreement between the lender and the borrower;
  • A lien and title search by an abstractor showing all matters of record from the date of the certificate through the recording date of the loan modification agreement;
  • The resolution of any intervening matters shown on the lien and title search, or the listing of such intervening matters as exceptions on the endorsement.

Address questions to an Iowa Title Guaranty underwriter at: 515-725-4357, or

November 25

No. 15-0547
Plaintiff appeals the district court order prohibiting the redissemination of its ruling granting permanent injunctive relief and denying the expansion of the terms of a permanent injunction.

Trump picks Iowa Governor Branstad as U.S. ambassador to China: transition official
President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as the next U.S. ambassador to China, a transition official said on Wednesday, choosing a longstanding friend of Beijing after rattling the world's second-largest economy by speaking to Taiwan's president.

Eight apply for NW Iowa district judge post
Eight attorneys have applied for the northwest Iowa district judge position created by the retirement of Judge Mary Jane Sokolovske.

Judge rejects whistleblower claim in Iowa regulator's firing
A judge has rejected claims by an Iowa regulator who alleged he was fired for blowing the whistle on a gas station chain's misleading pricing practices.
Daily Progress

Iowa insurance commissioner resigns
Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart announced Monday he plans to step down from his current post effective Dec. 23. Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds applauded Gerhart’s work upon learning of his resignation, and Branstad announced he is appointing Deputy Commissioner Doug Ommen of Ankeny to serve as the state’s interim insurance commissioner.
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier



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The following individuals applied for admission on motion to the Iowa Bar:

Joseph Michael Miller, GreatAmerica Financial Services, Cedar Rapids, IA

John Alan Kawai, Ventura, CA

Anyone with questions or comments on the above applicants should contact: Dave Ewert at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-725-8029.


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